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Travis Louie's Curiosities Hardcover – 7 Jan 2010
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Top customer reviews
If you like the Addams Family, the gothic, the macabra or just the plain unusual, you'll enjoy this book. It's a book to dip into and savour, and to keep coming back to.
Personally, I can't wait for the next book by Mr Louie and I really hope that he exhibits some of his work in the UK soon.
Travis Louie's artwork is beautifully rendered - these paintings look like photographs.....Very weird, old victorian photographs. Beautifully put together, the printing and binding is nice and shows the artwork very well.
A must for those interested in Low-brow / pop surrealism.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was not disappointed. The book is lovely from cover to cover. The format is large enough to see details of the paintings, but not so large as to be a Pretentious Art Monograph. I'd recommend the hardcover edition. The cover has a nice embossed effect as if the cover illustration were inset, and the endpapers are faux-antiqued. Book nerds will appreciate the attention to detail here. I have a strong suspicion Mr. Louie is a book nerd as well.
Inside, the format is of a full-page portrait painting facing a single-page biographical sketch of the character(s) depicted. Truly the characters remind me of Edward Gorey's, but brought to life in front of Mr. Daguerre's camera. The paintings are masterful, beautifully rendered portraits of monsters and weirdos. Mr. Louie is firstly a visual artist, involved in the gallery world and beyond. To compare apples to oranges, the prose sketches are the weaker part of the book. But I am happy to forgive his being a lesser Shakespeare: this book is first and foremost a book of paintings. (At any rate, I'd rather read the exploits of Miss Bunny and Krampus over the deathly boring text of the Pretentious Art Monograph any day!)
The work overall gives the impression that there is more to be explored with these characters and the universe they inhabit. It remains to be seen if Mr. Louie will continue in the portraiture vein or branch out into more narrative images. It would be interesting to see him collaborate with a writer of fantastical, historical-tinged fiction, or even to illustrate books in the tradition of the Hildebrandt brothers.
At this price point why not go for it? Highly recommended.